When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear

Hardcover (Print)
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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Play
Patricia Campbell Warner has completed a compelling and insightful book that poses the question, Which came first, the sportswear or the female athlete? . . . This fine book should be read by interested in the history of women and sports in the nineteenth-century.
Warner examines a heretofore untapped area of US social history: how informal clothing developed in the 1800s in response to middle-class leisure activities, competitive sports, and attitudes related to health. With wit and personal anecdotes, she reveals the rationale for the evolution in fashions from body-restricting women's Victorian styles to loose, comfortable, informal modern wear. ... This pioneering work should spawn further women's history studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558495487
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The influence of fashion
Introduction : public clothing for outdoor play 3
Ch. 1 Factors of change 11
Ch. 2 Women move out-of-doors : croquet and skating 24
Ch. 3 Taking up tennis 43
Ch. 4 Bathing and swimming : seeking a "sensible costume" 61
Ch. 5 Women enter the Olympics : a sleeker swimsuit 84
Ch. 6 Bicycling and the bloomer 104
Pt. 2 The influence of education
Introduction : private clothing for physical education 141
Ch. 7 Trouser wearing : early influences 149
Ch. 8 The rise of interest in exercise for women 158
Ch. 9 Innovation at Wellesley : a uniform for crew 177
Ch. 10 The debut of the gym suit 196
Ch. 11 Taking exercise clothes to new places : women biologists at Woods Hole 227
Ch. 12 The merging of public and private : sportswear and the American style 242
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